All talk and little action, says farmer

A NORTHERN farmer has questioned the move by the Agriculture Department to provide alternate sources of income for sugarcane farmers.

Speaking during the Fiji Sugar Corporation annual award consultations, Vunimoli farmer Pradeep Kumar said farmers had heard a lot about a joint partnership between farmers and the department but that nothing had come out of it.

Mr Kumar said very little had materialised.

“The Agriculture Department is wasting money and they cannot show farmers what type of farming can be done and where it is suitable to do what type of farming,” he said.

“With the expected slump in global sugar prices, canefarmers can do other alternate farming to supplement their income.

“Pineapple juice and tomatoes are imported from overseas and they can be planted locally to meet local demand.”

Mr Kumar said resources should be made available to farmers by Government to assist farmers cushion the declining sugar price.

Principal agricultural officer North John Cox said the Agriculture Department in the North was open to all farmers, including canefarmers from 7am to 5pm daily.

“They can give us a call or tell us personally of the help they need and we will surely provide them with assistance. We do not limit anyone to come forward to our office and seek our assistance,” Mr Cox said.